Mindfulness, or careful consciousness of what and why things are being done started becoming a part of my day to day life around the time minimalism did. It was first introduced as a form of meditation by a professor but quickly came to be much more than that. Mindfulness has helped me minimize the waste that Josh and I produce, maintain a budget, limit my use of technology, and cut out certain negatives that were bringing me down. It has brought joy in the small things and strengthened my relationship with God.
Since mindfulness entered our lives, we have been able to reduce the trash we create significantly. We are spoiled in Kansas City by having free pickup of our recyclables each week with our trash. This makes it easier for us to reduce our waste, but I also try to purchase our food that comes in containers that are recyclable. I choose brown paper bags over plastic when I forget to bring my own, mindful of the footprint my household is leaving.
Mindfulness has also helped improve my relationship with God. By helping me to practice focusing on the immediate present, whether in the car, at church, or at home, I have been able to connect more deeply to moments with thankfulness and joy and offer it back to
God. Being mindful of the task or project at hand keeps you focused on what is going on around you rather than filling your time (and mind) with the clutter of pop music, daydreams, or other distractions. As I go about daily or weekly chores, I dedicate different tasks to different intentions. As I fold laundry, I reflect on what I am thankful for. I pray for my marriage and spouse as I tidy up our bedroom. I intercede through St. Francis of Assissi as I fill up the dogs' bowls each day. Each little prayer goes a long way to helping me make God the center of each day.
The mindlessness our society is scary. We eat without considering if we are actually hungry, we purchase without asking ourselves if we really need it, and we quickly forget that everything we have, we owe back to God. But by practicing a little mindfulness each day, we can return our blessings back to God.